Brown County, Minnesota


  Milford Township

Milford was among the first townships to transact business in the county. It was made a civil organization in 1858, and derived its name from the mill built at the fording place over the Minnesota River. The earlier records of the town have been lost, due partly to the confusion at the time of the Indian outbreak; more than fifty were massacred within this township in 1862. It was in this township that Brown County had its first settlement. The first white settler either in this township or Brown County was Edward McCole, who came in from Nicollet County in 1853; his cabin was burned and his claim was "jumped" by Anton Kaus. This land later formed a part of the Col. William Pfaender farm. The next settlers were the first lot of German colonists from Chicago, in the fall of 1854; an account of their wanderings and final settlement is presented in another chapter. The early history of New Ulm and Milford Township are almost one and the same story. Among those hardy pioneers are easily recalled the names of Ludwig Meyer, Anton and Athanasius Henle, Peter Mack and David Haeberle.

This township is bounded on the north by the Minnesota River, on the west by Home Township, on the south by Sigel Township. It was adjoining the Indian reservation, and suffered great loss during the Indian outbreak in the summer of 1862, when more persons were killed than in any other part of Brown County. The population of Milford in 1910 was four hundred and eighty. The first post office in the county was established here, with Anton Kaus as postmaster; but in 1857 it was removed to New Ulm. Milford post office, proper, was established in 1860, with Anton Henle as postmaster; he held it many years. In 1857 he opened a country hotel, or in, which he conducted until about 1880. The first death was Martin Wiedemann, of consumption, in February, 1855.

The first birth in the township was in the spring of 1855, a daughter born to Benedict Drexler and wife. The earliest religious services were those conducted by Father Winninger in 1856. The first school was taught at the house of Anton Henle in the spring of 1857.

Milford is among the wealthy townships in the county, and has a history interwoven with that of the city of New Ulm. Many of the older farmers have retired in the city and make the best of citizens and believe in improvement, whether in country or city.

Village of Essig

Essig is the only hamlet within the township. It is situated in the western part of the township in section 19.

It is a station on the Chicago & Northwestern railway, and has schools, churches and limited commercial interests, and is a great convenience to the surrounding country. The population is about one hundred. The postal business in the last fiscal year was only three hundred and thirty-eight dollars. There are two Indian monuments, one within two and another in three miles of Essig, erected by the community, commemorating the Indian War of 1862. The public school is a half mile out of the village. The German Lutheran people have a society here and now hold services every other Sunday.

Essig Business Directory, May, 1916

Emil Hage, president

Herman Schroeder

Essig Creamery Company

General Merchandise Store
W. C. Heiman, who is also postmaster

Hardware Store
Andrew Wagner

J. J. Kemkes

Lampert Lumber Company, William Merto, manager

Produce and Stock Buyer
Herman Schroeder

Roller Mills
Eagle Roller Mills, by Herman Elbrecht
Grain elevator with Herman Schroeder as manager

  Brown County |Minnesota AHGP 

Source: History of Brown County, Minnesota, L. A. Fritsche, M.D., Editor, Volume I, 1916.


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